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Help Fight the Cancer and Ease Chemo Nausea with Cannabis

Pre-clinical trials have suggested that cannabis may be not only effective in helping to shrink tumors and fight cancer, but can also significantly offset chemo nausea and other side effects.

October 10, 2023
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The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2023, there will be 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses in the United States, and over 600,000 deaths. Treatments like chemotherapy have made leaps and bounds in recent years as treatment for cancer, but these can come with negative side effects like nausea.

Frtunately, pre-clinical trials have suggested that cannabis may be not only effective in helping to shrink tumors and fight cancer, but can also significantly offset chemo nausea and other side effects. Marc Matoza of Marijuana Med Today sat down with Amy Green, RN of MMTC in Florida recently to discuss how cannabis can be used in the fight against cancer as well as an aid to chemo treatments. Let’s look at some key points of their discussion and learn about how cannabis works in the body to fight cancer, and what the best cannabis for chemo nausea might be for you.

Cannabis vs. Cancer: A Natural Battle

While more studies need to be done before scientists can claim definitive proof, many pre-clinical studies on animals have pointed to the same result: cannabis provides many anti-cancer properties, while easing the side effects of most traditional chemo therapies. Let’s see how:

  • Cannabis interrupts the signals that send pain through our body
  • THC shows potential as a trigger to cell death in some types of cancerous cells
  • CBD has been shown to shrink some breast cancer tumors, while THC is being studied to reduce some types of brain cancer growth
  • Cannabis is known to block certain receptors often associated to reduce pain and the nausea from the side effects of most chemo therapies

The Odd Couple: Cannabis and Chemo

The Endocannabinoid System is found in every mammal, and helps to regulate systems like appetite, temperature, inflammation, anxiety, and alertness. The cannabis plant produces molecules called phytocannabinoids that are structurally identical to body’s natural endocannabinoids. Cannabis can naturally trigger the body’s own systems and help control and regulate symptoms like nausea and pain, which can come on as a result of chemotherapy. This is why doctors may suggest using cannabis for chemo side effect management.

THC and CBD are the two most common cannabinoids produced by the plant.

THC

  • Has a psychoactive effect (produces “high” feeling)
  • May help regulate pain and immune systems
  • Targets CB1 receptors in the brain

CBD

  • Non-psychoactive (cannot produce “high” feeling)
  • May help with pain and nausea management
  • Targets CB2 and other receptors, potentially affecting digestion, blood pressure, inflammation, body temperature, and more

Further medicinal benefits from cannabis for chemo side effects and other ailments come from flavonoids and terpenes. These compounds contribute to the taste, aroma, and color of various cannabis strains. Some may target specific symptoms like nausea, while others may actually be able to fight the effects of cancer induced pain, itself.

Myrcene

Beta-Caryophyllene

  • This terpene has a spiced, peppery flavor, and may help as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.

Fighting the Effects of Cancer with the Full Spectrum of Cannabis

Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, work together in your body in what’s known as the “entourage effect”. More than just combining their effects, these compounds may actually enhance each other’s beneficial properties. When using cannabis to treat cancer symptoms or to offset the negative effects of chemo, using the full plant is superior to isolating individual compounds like CBD alone.

This is what makes Full Spectrum Oil such a great choice when looking into cannabis for cancer treatment. Full Spectrum Oil, or FSO, is a topical cannabis oil concentrate made from the entire plant. FSO has all of the cannabis plant’s original terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids.

Dosing: Go Low, Go Slow

What is the best cannabis for chemo? It seems the answer may actually be different for everyone. What’s important is finding your Optimal Therapeutic Dose. This is the lowest amount possible to find the relief you’re looking for without any unwanted side effects. It’s your personal sweet spot for using the powers of cannabis in part of a plan of treatment.

For most, this means finding the appropriate ratio between CBD and THC. Since THC is psychoactive, some patients may be more sensitive to its effects than others. CBD works with THC to reduce its psychoactive properties, while enhancing some of its medicinal properties. For new users, products with a 1:1 ratio may be a good place to start, then try increasing your THC or CBD levels based on what your body tells you. You should know within a week of starting treatment what is working for you.

For those seeking a stronger THC product, here are some great options for your arsenal in the fight against the many symptoms of cancer and to balance the negative side effects of chemo:

Surterra Wellness Relief 1:9

  • High ratio of THC, which more directly targets pain
  • Available in theragels, vapes, patches, and Relief Watermelon Lozenges

Full Spectrum Oil (FSO)

  • Very potent oral and topical oil (do not vape)
  • Available in Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid varieties

High THC Strains from Float Botanical Vapes

  • Available in a variety of strains like OG Kush, Purple Punch, and Grand Daddy Purple
  • Easy and discrete with full terpene flavors

The More You Know

A consultation with a Surterra Wellness specialist can help you find the right products whether you’re seeking treatment for cancer or the best kind of cannabis for chemo patients. Educating yourself is the best start, though, so check out the full webinar to learn more about cannabis for chemo patients and the future of cannabis as an aid in cancer treatment.

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